Ukraine's president accuses group of planning coup for next week
Ukraine has uncovered a group of Russians and Ukrainians plotting an attempted coup for next week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told reporters Friday, the Washington Post reported.
Driving the news: Zelensky didn't accuse the Russian government of involvement in the purposed coup, and Kremlin denied any role, Reuters reported.
- Zelensky told reporters during a lengthy news conference for local and international media that Ukrainian security services have audio recordings of the alleged plotters talking about their plans.
- He said they mentioned trying to obtain the support of Ukraine's richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, the Post reported.
- Zelensky said Akhmetov wasn't involved in the plot, but he believed the billionaire was "being dragged into the war against Ukraine." Zelensky has targeted Ukranian oligarchs amid his effort to establish his government's authority.
The big picture: Zelensky's warning about the alleged coup plot comes amid escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia.
- U.S. and NATO officials have warned Russia is planning for a potential large-scale invasion of Ukraine early next year.
- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned earlier this month "any escalatory or aggressive actions" by Russia "would be of grave concern."
- Zelensky said Friday Ukraine is "in full control of our borders and are fully prepared for any escalation," per Reuters.